Are you looking for an experienced Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorney? If so Susan Geffen can help with your estate planning needs.
Do you think estate planning is only for those with a rambling seaside estate home and numerous other large assets? Too often, individuals and families do not consider estate planning unless they are well-established financially, or a loved one becomes seriously ill. Susan B. Geffen is a West Los Angeles estate planning attorney who can help individuals in all income brackets and socioeconomic levels design a more secure future with effective estate planning.
Too many California residents don’t plan for the future. They avoid or ignore estate planning because they think they don’t own enough, they’re not old enough, they’re busy, they’re confused or they just don’t want to think about it.
- What happens to the money in your checking and savings account when you die?
- Who benefits from your life insurance policy?
- Who receives your automobile, boat, camper or other vehicles?
- What happens to your home?
- Who cares for your children if something happens to you?
- Are you sure?
Without a written, legally established plan in place and accessible to an attorney or your loved ones, all your assets and important concerns are left hanging with an uncertain future. When something unexpected happens, your family has to struggle to get what they deserve. Don’t place an undue burden on your loved ones. Preserve your wishes and assets with sound estate planning. Susan is glad to help with information, recommendations and legal assistance.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is basically creating a wise and beneficial plan for the future that preserves your assets and protects them from excessive taxation and ensures that your final wishes are carried out. Susan provides a wide array of estate planning services to help individuals plan for the future. The traditional aspects of estate planning and elder law include:
- Wills and trusts
- Medical assistance planning
- Asset protection
- Business succession planning
- Probate of wills and administration of trusts
- Health care and financial planning
- Tax planning
- Medi-Cal planning
- Assistance with VA benefits
Besides creating a last will and testament to share your last wishes, creating an estate plan also involves different means for preserving and protecting your assets for your loved ones. This includes different measures to guard them from heavy taxation, providing ongoing income for you and your loved ones, guaranteeing the availability of assets when they are needed and establishing control over your assets. As an experienced West Los Angeles estate planning attorney, Susan will help you look at all aspects of your unique situation in creating a completely personalized estate plan.
What Happens if I Don’t Have an Estate Plan?
Failing to create an estate plan for yourself leaves your assets and your family’s future in the hands of strangers. The State of California handles your assets and other concerns if no legally established estate plan is in place. What does this mean for you and your family?
- If you become mentally or physically incapacitated and cannot manage your own affairs, the state probate court will assign someone to handle your affairs, including all assets titled in your name, through a conservatorship or guardianship.
- If you die without a legally established estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to the probate laws of California. This means that your spouse could receive only a fraction of your estate, which may not be enough to adequately provide for his or her needs. The court will also control any inheritance left for minor children, and can even appoint a guardian over them if no parent is alive.
When Should You Consider Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney in California?
Hiring an estate planning attorney in Los Angeles California is a decision that depends on your specific circumstances and goals. Below are some situations in which you should consider hiring an estate planning attorney in California:
- The complexity of your estate: If you have a complex estate, including multiple properties, valuable assets, investments, business interests, or blended families, an estate planning attorney can help ensure that your wishes are properly addressed and your assets are distributed according to your intentions.
- The desire for control and customization: If you have specific wishes for the distribution of your assets or want to include detailed provisions for certain beneficiaries, a Los Angeles estate planning attorney can help you create a comprehensive plan that reflects your exact preferences.
- Incapacity planning: If you want to plan for the possibility of incapacity or medical emergencies, an attorney can help you establish documents like a durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, or living will. These documents outline your wishes for medical treatment and appoint a trusted individual to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- Minimizing estate taxes: California has its own estate tax laws, and if your estate is expected to exceed the applicable thresholds, an estate planning attorney can help you develop strategies to minimize the impact of estate taxes and protect your wealth for future generations.
- Special needs planning: If you have a family member with special needs, an estate planning attorney can guide you in creating a trust or other provisions to ensure their long-term financial security and eligibility for government benefits.
- Business succession planning: If you own a business, an estate planning attorney can help you develop a succession plan to ensure a smooth transition of ownership and management to your chosen successors.
- Changes in personal circumstances: Significant life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of children or grandchildren, or the death of a loved one may require updates to your estate plan. An attorney can assist you in modifying your existing plan or creating a new one to reflect these changes.
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, and the need for a Los Angeles estate planning attorney depends on your unique situation. Consulting with an experienced attorney like Susan Geffen will provide you with the most accurate guidance based on your individual needs and goals.
Begin Your Estate Planning Now
Do you want strangers managing your affairs or raising your children? Contact Susan B. Geffen today at 800-285-2659, or use the online scheduling tool to arrange a confidential consultation. Susan is glad to help you plan for the future, regardless of the size of your estate or your current stage of life.